Seminar to help seniors, caregivers avoid scams

Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2001

Seniors and their caregivers are invited to a free Senior Safety Night scheduled Tuesday at the Juneau Senior Center, 10th and Egan.

"We are focusing on safety issues such as theft and being taken advantage of by strangers," said organizer Ann Bennett, a member of the Juneau Community Policy Program, which is sponsoring the event.

Bennett and Sue Reishus-O'Brien have invited a number of specialists in safety: Robert Martin of the state's Adult Protective Services; Carrie Hulse of the district attorney's office; Capt. Tom Porter and Sgt. Steve Hernandez of the Juneau Police Department; and Dave Wilson of adult probation.

"Each speaker has seen seniors victimized - taken advantage of by strangers who appear overly-friendly, for example. They will list what to watch for," Bennett said. "We want to help seniors empower themselves."

"The whole idea about the panel is to give the people an idea of our specialties in crime prevention. I get calls about telephone scams asking for donations. Seniors can be bilked on home repairs or parts they get through mail order, and the next thing you know, because they don't want to make a fuss, they suddenly find themselves obligated for things they don't need," Hernandez said.

Probably only half the vandalism and theft that happens in Juneau is actually reported, Hernandez said.

"People in Juneau need to lock their house and car doors and roll their car windows up, even though they think they've left that all behind in the Lower 48," he said. "You don't want to leave your purse in your shopping cart and turn away, either."

A question and answer session will follow presentations by the speakers, Bennett said.

For details about the Juneau Community Policing Program, call JPD's Community Services unit at 586-2780.

Ann Chandonnet can be reached at

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